Shocking exit for party’s old-timers

  • Analysis
  • Saturday, 21 Apr 2018

THE walls of Danny Law’s service centre in his Batu Lanchang consti­tuency is plastered with his election posters through the five general elections he has fought since 1999.

But there will not be a sixth set of posters because the Penang exco member was told that he had been dropped from the DAP election line-up for Penang in the coming gene­ral election.

Law, 56, and Bagan Jermal assemblyman Lim Hock Seng, 70, were among six Penang DAP incumbents who were told the news that ser­ving politicians dread to hear.

Their exit caused ripples among party members because they are among the most senior faces in the state leadership.

Hock Seng, a former contractor whose ties with DAP began in 1982, is also a state exco member.

There had been hints of changes in the party candidate list following an interview that Penang DAP chief Chow Kon Yeow gave to the Chinese vernacular media.

Sin Chew Daily carried a front page report on it with the headline: “Penang DAP launches succession plan”.

Chow, deemed the successor to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, has spoken about the need for a transfusion of new blood in Penang DAP.

But few thought that the axe would fall on so many people.

Others dropped included MPs Jeff Ooi (Jelutong) and Ng Wei Aik (Tan­jung) and assemblymen A. Tana­sekaran (Bagan Dalam) and Lau Keng Ee (Pengkalan Kota).

News of the changes had begun leaking out following what is known as exit interviews done with those being dropped at the party headquarters yesterday.

A surprise survivor was P. Kas­thuri, the daughter of the late P. Patto. For a while, it looked like the Batu Kawan MP would fall victim to the male-centric politics going on in Batu Kawan, which was manipula­ted by a powerful Indian warlord.

The changes suggest that the party is confident of another clean sweep in the general election.

But others say that if changes are not made, the party will be unable to do as well as it did previously because a number of assemblymen won not because they were outstanding but because they were swept in by the political tsunami of 2008.

Some even think that the changes are not sweeping enough.

Law and Hock Seng were rewarded with state exco posts because they are party stalwarts who held up the party during its difficult years.

But they were out of their depth when it came to running a state government and the opinion out there is that they should have been dropped after 2013.

Law survived through one controversy after another in his Tourism Development and Culture portfolio.

Two people drowned on separate occasions during the Penang Dragon Boat Race, an event that was under his tourism watch.

The move to drop Hock Seng and Thanasekaran in one go is quite bold because their state seats are in the Bagan parliamentary consti­tuency held by Guan Eng.

It means that Guan Eng is confident of containing any fallout that may come from it.

Sungai Puyu assemblyman Phee Boon Poh is the sole survivor in the Bagan area.

Phee, the state exco for environment, is lucky to have survived because he had a controversial year over a sensational environmental issue in the Penanti area.

Lau’s exit from Pengkalan Kota was the least surprising because he was embroiled in a legal suit over a financial dispute that was the talk of the town.

The iconic Tanjung seat is now vacant and speculation is that Chow will contest a parliamentary seat as well as his Padang Kota state seat.

Whether the changes are indeed to enable a transfusion of new blood will be known today when the names of those taking over the seats are announced.

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Politics , Penang , DAP , election candidates


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